I have been seeing some concerned posts recently about Gov. regulating, overseeing, licencing, restricting of hobby or backyard aquaponics here in Australia.
While Western AU have put a notification process in place for the transportation of fish around the state which does no harm but will give the Gov. some indication of how many food type of fish are being moved about that are not being used in commercial situations. Good for data collection but not regulation and I expect after the initial onslaught it will settle down.
The East coast has a long standing agreement for native fish translocation which is currently being updated and really only affects hatchery operations.
QLD also have a self assessed aquaculture permit that only requires a simple one page form to be filled out, diseases reported and production report once a year (another one page). This is around aquaculture so it also encompasses aquaponics and is voluntary.
The NSW Gov. advised me they are looking towards backyard aquaponics as they apparently receive complaints of poor fish care from concerned people (apparently often enough for them to give it some thought) which people no doubt read on discussion forums but who knows. Keep in mind, some people are not that fussed on fish in tanks as they relate the method to caged chickens and high density operations, so will complain without thought. Some people are sensitive to reading about "All my fish are dead or dying" there are some animal lovers about which I think is perfectly ok. Some time back most of the members on our crayfish forum would be up in arms when someone mentioned crayfish and melted garlic butter... mmmm yum.
Fisheries are only interested in trying to bring forward discussions around animal welfare and diseases with the home aquaculturist/aquaponics folks and plan on doing so in a consultative manner. Again not from a regulatory sense because the reality is how do you regulate so many people... They are looking at it from a "how can we help provide information that will assist people in the care of their fish?" and "how can we help curb the potential for the spread of pests and disease?".
I can appreciate everyone’s need, want and even right to grow and sustain themselves and their families and I am certain the Government (people just like us) would like to encourage this into a sustainable future. There are some minor processes in place for the back yard aquaculturist which, as I said earlier, covers aquaponics but no regulations and no talk that I/we have heard of from the Gov.
So I wonder where some of these concerns arise from?